BROTHERS Bulldogs felt the full might of competition leaders Hervey Bay Bombers in a demoralising afternoon at Brothers Sportsground.
The injury-ravaged Bulldogs struggled to keep up with the attacking force of Hervey Bay forwards eventually going down 12.7-79 to 18.16-124.
A high error count helped Hervey Bay to the win, a problem coach Wayne Ling hopes to rectify with a hard week on the training paddock.
“There were seven goals kicked against us off turn overs which really hurt,” he said.
“The guys had the skill and agility to win the game, but they made poor decisions.”
Matthew Innes was a dominant force for Hervey Bay patrolling the forward line with brutal efficiency.
Innes proved to be a hard man to mark and eluded Brothers defenders time and time again booting five goals.
With eight key players missing from the side – including utility Mitch Sartori ruck rover Justin Sheehan and centre Rob Searle – Bulldogs were noticeable understaffed in the match.
Ling said while the injuries played a role in the defeat, his team must pick up its game if it is to emerge as a premiership hope.
“We had quite a few out, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” he said.
“The guys have to work on playing smart football and not making silly mistakes.”